Skip to main content

tv   Nancy Grace  HLN  October 6, 2009 1:00am-2:00am EDT

1:00 am
both of these races have narrowed. both of them. new jersey -- i know new jersey. i would like to give a third of the state to new jersey, politically. new jersey is a very tough state. if we win in new jersey that will send a shock wave. i know you do not live in new jersey, but anybody you know in new jersey, this is a very connected world. the same thing in virginia. a very close race. there isn't chance to have an impact in new jersey and virginia. i have been doing some campaigning in those two states for members. but next fall will be decision time. i am hopeful that your efforts in the past couple of months
1:01 am
will stall any thing from coming out of the united states senate. . . there is a lot that can be done and needs to be done in the short run, but you have got to turn it into something that politicians fear, the only thing that the politicians fear.
1:02 am
votes is the only thing they fear. a lot of people some money, but it is votes. thank you all very much. god bless. [applause] >> please also tell your friends that the senator's address will be on our website. we have recorded the entire thing. americanfuturefund.com. thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> in a few moments, more on our special series on the u.s. supreme court. in a little more than one half
1:03 am
hour, the forecast for this winter's heating bills, and after that, the feminist majority foundation hosted a discussion about women's issues and the obama administration, particularly health care. supreme court week continues every night on c-span at 9:00 p.m. eastern with a variety of perspectives on the high court. early in the week, we will speak to historians and law clerks. there will be interviews with all of the justices that air friday, saturday, and sunday. our guests are lyle denniston and joan biskupic. >> by and large, the people that cover us like our us. they know our traditions.
1:04 am
they know our schedule, and they do a very good job. the news cycle, the interest, the attention span being what it is, they have 24, 48 hours to make the point. well, we write for a different time dimension than that. it is not just the result. it is what the principle is. and the press does a very good job of reporting what we do. it is in the loathed it more difficult, for the reasons i explained it -- it is a little bit more difficult, for the reasons i explained. >> this is the supreme court press room, on a day when several opinions have been released from the bench. >> it will be issued on monday.
1:05 am
>> lyle denniston has covered the court for over 50 years, and since 1989, joan biskupic has covered the court. >> we tend to be a little bit more of a bookish crowd. we all carry yellow highlighter is with us. we'd like to look back and to look at president -- we all carry yellow highlighters with us. we like to look back and look at the president. the supreme court is the most mysterious branch to the public. they do their work in a marble building, where cameras are not allowed. they are generally not recognizable to people on the street. in some ways, they are very public, because anything they do
1:06 am
that will matter in your life will be down in black and white in the court opinion, and yet, they themselves will not be publicly announcing that before a camera, so there is a real mystery with the supreme court, and also, it is belloc, and the law can be complicated to a lot of people -- it is the law. their current rulings are based on years, decades, even centuries ago, so i think that gives a more mysterious aura than the other branches of government. >> high visibility, where the stakes are really high, and you can feel the tectonic plates beginning to shift, then you would be just british if you did not have a high awareness or a high -- you would be just
1:07 am
brutish if you did not have a high awareness or a high sensitivity. the place is one where continuity is very important, and history really does influence the way the court works. >> they take tradition very seriously at the supreme court. former chief justice william rehnquist put those four gold stripes on each of his sleeves, when justice o'connor or ginsberg -- or when justices o'connor or ginsberg wear the lace on their blouses. we sometimes kid that the quill pens that they give out is how they write their opinions, and there are still justices who
1:08 am
write out their opinions on a legal pad instead of on the computer today. oral arguments go for a specific hour, and each side gets 30 minutes. a light comes on. there are certain days that they have their meanings. the court has its own rhythm and its own orbit, and chief justice rehnquist, especially, and did not like to have that disturbed. now, new chief justice roberts, who came in and 2005, will let oral arguments go a little bit longer -- who came in in 2005, will let arguments go a little longer. >> this is the chamber where brown versus the board of education was decided. the most important decision of
1:09 am
our history in deciding presidential power was decided in that room by human beings sitting on that bench after having listened to arguments by other human beings, and the aura of the place is always present. if you go into that room, it does not matter how badly a given lawyer is doing, and there are some bad lawyers who appear before the supreme court or are just not up to the task, but there is something about the place that just tells you that something really important is going on here, and to my mind, it is very much different from watching, let's say, a debate on the floor of the house and senate, where you realize that what may be going on on the floor at any given moment really does not have anything to do with the legislative process. it is somebody making a speech about how important mother's day is or how we should honor a certain kind of animal husbandry
1:10 am
or something, you know. everything that goes on in the supreme court is related to something important, and it is a part of the process that is working from beginning to end and will result in a substantive outcome. it is all meaningful. >> i really like a lot of the aspects of covering the court. i love the oral arguments and the give-and-take and how they respond to each other as well as the advocates who stand at the lectern before them. i describe it as being one of the great field trips in washington, d.c., and it is not televised. it is very ceremonial. the whole room is beautiful, a deep crimson, white marble, and these two beautiful flags, and the justices come in in their robes, and there is a lot of
1:11 am
give and take, and that is very interesting to watch, and sometimes, you can get clues from the oral argument as to how they might rule, and sometimes, the surprise you. when they issue an opinion, it is not where they appeared to be -- they surprise you. >> there is an ongoing debate, and there has been for -- i suppose it is never going to end, as to whether the presence of cameras in any court changes people. i suppose that debate was a reasonable debate a long time ago, but we have had so much experience now in state courts in particular with the cameras in the courtroom that it does not make any difference at all, and even in the federal courts now, where they are experimenting now and then with
1:12 am
big cases. they will allow the cameras in. i think that judges are sufficiently aware of the craft of judging that having an observer of the process is not going to be different in terms of how it effects -- how it affects the process, whether or not the observer has a notepad, as i do, where a camera, taking images of what the court does -- or a camera, taking images of what the court does, and that is a debatable point. i will concede that. but i think the judges are aware of what they are supposed to be doing and will not play to the cameras. i do not think the lawyers will play to the cameras. a lawyer gets up at the supreme court, and they know they have one task. that is to persuade five people. that is all it takes to win.
1:13 am
that is five of the nine. if you get up there at the podium, and you are playing to the cameras because of the audience out there, the chances are fairly good that you will lose the focus on the five that you are trying to persuade up in front of you, and if you are sitting on that bench, if you are one of the nine sitting on that bench, and you are thinking about what the audience out there, looking at the camera image is thinking, you are going to lose the focus on what is happening in front of you, and the dynamic of the oral argument is such that you have got to participate in it to really make it work for you, because the justices use oral argument very often to try to persuade each other, and oral arguments, when properly understood, it is an agenda setting function -- an oral argument -- and oral argument,
1:14 am
when properly understood, it is an agenda-setting function. -- when properly understood, is an agenda-setting function. >> pixar number. its 8%? -- pick a number. is it 8%? it is a quota is it is 10%? -- if it is 10%? >> justice scalia says that he thinks that somebody will play to the camera. among the nine justices who have been most recently sitting on the court, if anyone would play to the cameras, i suspect that the one that would possibly do
1:15 am
that the most would be justice scalia, because he is a bit of a thespian. >> he came to the court with a different view of the law. for many years, he was alone in his view, mostly speaking to people beyond the marble walls. now, he has nearly a majority on the court with his approach to the law. meanwhile, he is such an interesting figure. there is his duck hunting with dick cheney and watching the opera whispered ruth bader ginsburg. he is very much out there. -- with or ruth bader ginsburg. he was a very candid, -- with rith bader ginsbuerg. -- ginsberg. he is very much out there. they are friends. there are quite opposite on the
1:16 am
law. she is quite liberal. he is quite conservative. they have different manners on the bench. justice scalia is right out there, in the face, and ruth bader ginsburg -- they have deep respect for each other. when they were lower court judges on the u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. circuit, they would swap opinions sometimes and ask each other some advice on some of the language in their opinions. they are quite pals. other justices have formed a bridge clubs. remember, they are appointed to life -- for life, so there is an incentive for them to get along. they very much about new collegiality. and they are appointed for life. no matter their differences on the law. they want to get along. i think they were most
1:17 am
challenged in bush v. gore, and that was probably their biggest challenge in recent years, and they have their differences, and those emerge in very strong statements in written opinions and sometimes in statements from the bench, but they all know there is an incentive to try to keep getting along because they will have to assure that building for many, many more years. many of these -- they are going to have to share that building for many, many years. actually, in recent years, most of the justices that have been appointed have been easy going enough types that eight tone was set that encourage collegiality rather than undercutting -- that natomas that -- that a tone was set. >> no matter how much you have objected to have your colleagues have decided things, there is
1:18 am
going to be another tough case coming up after it, so if the underlining situation is one of collegiality, then you are going to have a real tussle, but then you will put it aside and move on. it is an institution where virtually everybody knows everybody else, and among the justices -- this really depends kind of on the pattern of the chief justice. if the chief justice and once a really collegiate course, they can do things to bring that about -- if the chief justice wants a really collegiate court, they can do things to bring that about.
1:19 am
the court under chief justice warren burger was not a happy place. the relationships tended quite rapidly to deteriorated. there was a lot of internal resentment among the justices about each other, and the chief justice did not work very hard at trying to dispel that, and the way he ran the court at times contributed to that kind of internal dissension because he would kind of play favorites in the way he assigned opinions. he would sometimes cast his vote one way in order to have control and then changes vote later on, so he ran the court in a way that contributed to the internal division. now, chief justice rehnquist, on either hand, ran a very happy
1:20 am
courts, a very collegial court. remember, -- ran a very happy court, a very collegial court. the chief justice, using that position, we're nowhere is it defined that they will be the emotional caretaker of the emotional state of the court, -- where no where is it defined that they would be the emotional caretaker of the emotional state of the court, -- it is apparent that chief justice roberts is trying to follow the lead of chief justice rehnquist and have a collegial court. he has a bit of a disadvantage because on like rehnquist, he was not on the court to establish relationships before
1:21 am
he became a chief justice, and i think that helped with rehnquist. having been one of the nine and then becoming the leader of the nine, and justice roberts did not have the opportunity, and also, he is considerably younger than a lot of his colleagues, which makes it a little more challenging for him to establish the kind of leadership potential that i think he ultimately will have. people who have known john roberts for a long time will say that he is no more conservative than they thought he would be. he is more conservative than i thought he would be. but he also seems to be, if you will, more agenda driven than i expected him to be. the court under john roberts is an institution that is, i think, very bold about reexamining
1:22 am
longstanding precedents. it is interesting, because a lot of the popular perception of him, particularly in the media, is that he is a chief justice who once the court -- wants the court to move in more incremental ways, to take smaller steps, if you will. i think the chief justice in some ways generally does want to have a kind of minimalist jurisprudence, and but there are times when his conservative orientation, which is deep, deep inside him, i think, leads him, i think, to want to push the court to take really bold steps. >> the chief justice said the town and a couple of very important ways, and one of those is to set -- the chief justice sets the tone in a couple of
1:23 am
very important ways, and one of those is to establish things. that is the most important role, but the chief justice also has a ceremonial position. he set the tone. he is a member of other boards in town. it is both representative and substantive, but when it comes to the actual loss of the land, his vote counts as much as the newest justice. >> judge sotomayor, are you prepared to take the oath? >> i am. >> please raise your hand and repeat after me. >> i, sonia sotomayor, do solemnly swear -- >> this is the court that sets the law of the land, and a new justice can change things, can
1:24 am
tip the balance, and that is the most substantive thing that a new judge can do, but it also changes the personal dynamics among the nine. imagine any group of nine, and somebody comes in, and everybody rearranges slightly to accommodate that person, their approach to the law and how that person does business. >> each new justice changes the whole court, as was said by one man, and i think what he meant by that is because it is a court of nine, very, very particular kind of individuals, there is a dynamic that develops in the group of nine, a and the new justice can change that dynamic, -- the group of nine, and the new justice can change that dynamic. i remember justice harry blackmun, and he was quite put
1:25 am
off by another judge. he thought she had an agenda. he was not happy with her because his perception was a new justice should come to the cour and not be very visible for a couple of years until they knew the ropes. well, sandra king into the court, -- sandra came into the courts, and she was throwing her weight around -- came into the court. she was filing opinions dissenting from the court's decision to not hear cases, and that is a kind of bold thing to do, but triggered if you are brand new on the court, so a new justice -- but jiggering if you are brand new on the court. so a new justice -- particularly if you are brand-new on the court. so a new justice can change
1:26 am
things. the addition of a new ingredient changes the whole. now, it does not necessarily cause the other justices to change their views, but there is a shifting of majorities, a shifting of little blocks within the court. >> a new justice and brings in another female voice and you happens to be hispanic will bring great diversity -- a new justice who brings in another female voice and who happens to be hispanic will bring great diversity. when you think of how america is half male, half female, to have only one female and appears to be quite lopsided, but even two out of the nine will not be
1:27 am
representative of america, but there will be more than there is now. when a new justice comes on to the courts, a journalist once to know what their personality will be like -- what a new justice comes on to the court, a journalist wants to know what their personality will be like. will she play off of those existing justices? you know, injustice sotomayor happens to be from the bronx. -- new justice sotomayor happens to be from the bronx. ruth bader ginsburg is from brooklyn. antonin scalia is from queens. samuel alito is from trenton, new jersey, and you want to know if there will be a little bit more mixing it up on the bench. >> it is a rich room where they will gather 48 to 72 hours after hearing argument in the
1:28 am
courtroom. >> they go round, again, by order of seniority after the chief justice has set up the case. "ok, here is what we are going to decide. here is the question." they start casting votes, starting with the chief justice. typically, it is up to the final ninth of justice to have his say, and then when every justice has had a chance to speak, there may be some give and take, and that is what they do with of reaping -- with every case. if there is discussion to be had for a case that may be up there on leticia or epo, and they have to determine if they will take the case -- a case that may be up there on appeal. before they start, the start with a little coffee and pastries. this is just to again foster
1:29 am
some collegiality, and they all shake hands all around, and they do that before they go on the bench, and they do that before they go to conference, and justice ginsburg said she liked the idea of shaking hands with a colleague and having that human contact before they were about to disagree vigorously. after they meet in conference, they all go back to their respective chambers, and just about every conversation they have thereafter is done in writing in a document carried by messenger from chamber to chamber. if a justice wants to make an amendment to a draft opinion, or write a note about how he or she may be about to rule or suggested changes in language, the justice rights that down, either on the computer or having a secretary typed up, and then it is handed to the chamber. a justice will go into another justice's chamber, but that is
1:30 am
rare. they communicate by messenger. they do things the old-fashioned way. >> if you pay close attention to the court, if you look at the past papers of justices that are now often available in some kind of collection, perhaps at the library of congress, or at various universities around the country, the decision al process is very much a paper process rather than one where somebody walks down the hallway and tries to persuade someone. there are exceptions. in the 1990's, the court was revisiting the roe v. wade 1973 abortion issue, and three justices put their heads together, justices kennedy, souter, and o'connor, and they fashion a way to get that case decided, -- and they fashioned a way.
1:31 am
they put together kind of a little trio that was managing the case and controlling the outcome, really, and they were then able to get a majority to sign onto what they had chosen to do. but in most of the cases, once the justices have cast an internal vote and the opinion is decided, then the drafts start circulating, and what happens is the other justices will send what are called "join memos," and "join me" means to tell the opinion. where there may be and noted that says "i am going to write separately, so i am not going to join you," or "i join your opinion, but i am going to write separately," or "i
1:32 am
dissent," and it is not normally something where they get together in a conference and say, "well, what do you think about it? what do you think about it?" it all comes in as a paper flow, and the person who has the assigned task of writing the opinion has to decide whether or not to incorporate the changes, and whether it is a close case, where you are a risk of losing your majority -- let's say in the preliminary vote is 5-4, and you think you are going to lose one of your five, then you are going to be much more agreeable to accepting what that justice will want in the opinion in order to hold the vote, and that does not just happen seldom. i think that happens with some frequency. you have to negotiate in order to hold together your vote.
1:33 am
if you have a seven-vote majority, then if one of the seven said they do not like it, that is an expendable vote. you do not want to offend them, but that is a vote you really do not need, so you will probably be less accommodating to the view of that just as the and if it was a five-four. >> justice alito -- probably be less accommodating to the view of that justice than if it was 5-4. >> justice alito has the opinion. >> the guy from reuters is usually busy, and you have to get out of his way. >> it will be issued on monday. >> the supreme court public information office simply says "here is the material. make of it what you will, but we will make sure you have the material," and that is an
1:34 am
enormously in valuable function, and it is also very nice knowing that someone is not trying to spin you -- that is an enormously invaluable function. >> i raced down to the press area, where we all have our laptops -- i raced down -- race down. this is much different than when i first started it the court -- at the court, where he would file a story around 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. -- where you would file a story around 6:00 or 7:00 p.m., and the story would appear in tomorrow's newspaper. now, people want to know. >> we are in the early stages of, perhaps, a really profound shift in which the press
1:35 am
attention to the courts, the press awareness of the court, if you can put it in those terms, is going to be so much smaller over time that maybe the american people will in time find the court even more of a stranger to them. the newspaper industry has declined, and that is probably something that is not going to be reversed. one cannot imagine an economic model that would keep that medium viable or restore it to its former prominence at any foreseeable time in the future, given the changing nature of electronic media in this country, and so, the question arises, who will be the chronicler of the supreme court?
1:36 am
who will tell the american people what their supreme court is doing? where it is going, who is on it? who will be attpaying attention? and i do not know that i have the answer to that. to some degree, the electronic media, as it will develop over time, can take up the slack, but the pressure in the electronic media for constant 24-hour coverage enhances the importance of brevity, and uncovering the supreme court of the united states, and brevity can be the enemy of clarity. >> as the new media made it more difficult? it has made it more challenging, and it has also made it more exciting. if if we do not do it this way, no one would be reading it. if i wrote for the next day's papers simply that the court ruled 5-4, who would care?
1:37 am
because everybody would know it by the next morning when they woke up and got their newspaper. what they want to know about 10:00 or 11:00 on the day is how the justices have ruled, and then the day after, it is more about reaction. >> there are critics of the media that say that the press corps is essentially they're on bended knee. we are over there. -- essentially there on bended knee. we treat the justices as an untouchable gods. well, that's simply misunderstand the -- we treat the justices as untouchable gods. well, that is simply a misunderstanding. it does not hurt, and, i think,
1:38 am
it helps tremendously to be aware of the atmosphere and to have some sense, not simply of being an apologist for the court, but to be able to experience the awe of the place, the grandesness of the court, ad that helps to translate it to the readers. >> it may be on pace with the country on the law, may be ahead of it, but in terms of technology, we will probably be a little bit behind the rest of us. >> they think it is a very secretive institution. no, it is not. it is an institution that does most of its work in the open. as they like to say, "the war goes in the front door and goes out the front door -- the work goes in the front door and goes
1:39 am
out the front door." >> this continues nightly at 9:00 p.m. eastern, including interviews with all of the justices, on friday, saturday, and sunday. tuesday, we will talk to william suder, clerk of the court. -- william suter. you can go online for more. you will see a virtual tour of the supreme court building and interviews with current and former justices as well as historians and attorneys on the court function and history. also on our website, you can reserve your copy of our documentary, "the supreme court? " that is at c-span.org/store. -- "the supreme court."
1:40 am
that is at c-span.org/store. coming up, the winter heating forecast and then women's issues and the obama administration, particularly health care. after that, if forum on democracy in the digital information age, -- a form of democracy in the digital information age. after that, more. u.s. consumers will probably pay less this winter to keep to their homes with natural gas, according to the american gas association's winter heating outlook. it cites high inventories and weak demand. this is about 45 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. thank you for joining.
1:41 am
the vice president of policy and planning. i am going to give him a raise and a promotion. and roger with policy and planning. they are going to speak to us about enterprises that customers can expect and what they can do to keep prices low -- about prices that customers can expect. >> good morning. my wife goes through a ritual every morning getting herself ready to come to work, and it leaves me some time at about 6:00 in the morning to take my cup of coffee and walk around outside and walk around the neighborhood of a bit before she is ready and has two thirds of her possessions with her as she goes to work. there is a chill in the air. it was kind of " this morning. -- cool this morning.
1:42 am
and rather than repeating what the eia does, we will talk about some longer-term issues that roger is going to talk about, after i have said my piece, and that will give you a chance to ask questions about our view of the market and what we see going forward in the short term and in the longer term. dan? there we go. where do you start with the winter heating season? we always start with the weather.
1:43 am
last year, from the october through the end of march, march 31, 2009, we had a winter heating season that was just slightly warmer than normal, about two tenths of 1%. december and january were a little colder. february and march were a little warmer. the eastern portion of the united states was a little colder, and the western portion of the united states was a little warmer. i have looked at numerous weather forecasts, looking forward to this winter heating season. this was from september 4 december, january, and february from the national weather service -- september for december. they show a probability for higher than normal temperatures, particularly in the midwest, and some probability for lower than normal temperatures in the
1:44 am
southeast. i also have to say that i am seen other private weather forecasts that look terribly different from this. i have also seen forecasts for warmer conditions early in the winter heating season, colder later in the winter heating season, so it is a jump ball. we are not predicting what the weather is going to be. it is a key issue, but this leads us to another element of trying to look at the winter heating season, and, again, i am going to take you back to october of last year, when the eia did their winter heating outlook. they do as a great service in doing this, and i just want to assure you that the baseline forecast last year going into it -- i just want to show you the very high prices we experienced in 2008, particularly during the winter, there base line forecast
1:45 am
was for consumers, natural gas consumers -- their baseline forecast was higher. actually, but the time we got to march, and they were making the same forecast with a little bit of back cast, having some real data, the information was almost the same as it had been the prior year, only 1% difference. now, that is not an indictment on eia at all. that is a reminder that things change, and last year, it was not just necessarily whether, but we had an economy that was changing. we were seeing changes in consumption of natural gas, and compared to the supply of natural gas that we had coming out of 2008, prices actually continued to fall through the winter heating season rather than be impacted by that seasonal demand, so there is
1:46 am
always something, and i am not prepared to predict exactly what that might be this year, but whatever our expectations are after the energy information administration releases their numbers tomorrow, i just want to talk a little bit about the numbers and also, as i said, let roger have a view of some of the longer-term issues, too, and put things out there, and, hopefully, you can discuss those with us. let's look at natural gas supply. this is a chart and daily supply that goes back to january 1, 2007 -- this is a charge of daily supply. most of us in this room are aware of the fact that we have seen growing natural gas production in this country over the last couple of years. this graphic clearly shows it. it shows the little bit of hurricane activity that we had
1:47 am
in 2008, but it also shows that by june 2006, that production growth has flattened out, and if you look at the data, again using this as the source, the average daily production of natural gas in the country in september was about 1 bcf per day less than it was in july of 2009, so that component of our supply has flattened out, and there are some expectations that we will continue to see some declines in productive capacity in the country given our current drilling investment, our level of rigs, and given prices. it is actually a perfectly rational thing for the market to adjust itself on the supply side when you have declines in demand, as we have seen in 2009, so what the magnitude of the future is through this winter
1:48 am
heating season with either the flattening or additional decline in natural gas production remains to be seen, but you can also see we are getting of the google's gas from canada and e are getting a little bit less gas from canada. let's also remember that our companies have been storing gas over this past summer, and, of course, there are peaking facilities to meet critical demand, so there are many fuel'' out there for companies to use, and overall, -- there are many fuels out there, so the overall picture is strong. demand. the one difference, obviously, that we see is sector demand, compared to supply, which tends to be supply regular on a day- by-day basis, is that demand is
1:49 am
very seasonal, and it can be very peaky. our companies serving your needs and other residential customer needs me to meet each one of those little spikes that we see during the winter heating season, and as you can also see, they can happen in just a few days, so they are preparing themselves through their gas supply portfolio building process to meet each one of those peaks and to meet all of our customers physically and otherwise. you can see the seasonality of the winter heating season on the residential and small commercial loathed. if you look carefully, you can see some differences in the industrial demand, the blue curve -- and small commercial load. you can also see the electric power demands for natural gas also. the other critical short-term
1:50 am
component right now, of course, is natural gas storage. we have currently almost 3.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in storage. we will enter this winter heating season november 1, or whenever the net injections into stores stop -- into storage stop. right now, they are above the five-year average and above this time last year. remember, this is the time of year when the storage averages tend to begin to converge on each other because we are getting fuller and fuller, so it is remarkable we are in this storage position right now. utilities have been putting gas in storage over the summer, and as you know, compared to last year, those injections of natural gas have come at a slightly lower cost than we saw last year.
1:51 am
that is important, because over the course of the winter heating season, which draws somewhere between 15% in 20% of our supplied from underground gas storage. if you look at the peak winter heating season month, which is normally january, sometimes february, we can get as much as 30% from the underground, and in one area, it might be 100% of their gas supply on a key day, so storage is very, very important. prices have been coming down. this is a chart that shows the average acquisition price per natural gas at the well head from the peak at mid 2008 to the level that we saw in june of 2009, a significant decrease.
1:52 am
however, there are some expectations moving forward that we will see increases in natural gas prices for 2010. now, what would that be? well, it -- why would that be? well, there is the supply side as part of the rationalization. in addition to that, there seems to be some small indication that we see on a daily and weekly basis that the economy is beginning to recover. when the economy recovers, there is an expectation then that large-volume customers, particularly on the industrial side, are going to begin to demand and use of little more natural gas, so those two things together in most cases account for what is viewed as the potential for slightly higher prices in 2010.
1:53 am
for consumers, this roller- coaster that we have been on means many things. with respect to our companies, our companies intend to purchase their gas, the largest number of companies on this graph, purchasing the largest volumes based on the first of the month index -- this does two things. one, the market price gets reflected back to consumers, and as we have seen over the course of this year, we have seen many pga's, purchased gas adjustments, go back down. another thing is that the benchmark does -- not just physical tools, but they use other tools to try to take some of the peakiness off of the top
1:54 am
and to try to take some of the volatility out of the marketplace. that same purchasing practice, although there is a little more variety for the smaller volumes in storage injections, still, many companies use the first of the month projections, so, again, that tends to be reflected back in prices for consumers because the cost for consumers is a pass-through to the consumer. it is not marked up by the company'ies. we have that's a very good news about the natural gas supplies in this country -- we have had very good news. their report from 2008, a report in which they examined the undiscovered resources base in the country. they do that every two years, taking into account the economics and the technologies to develop gas supply, and we have seen increases in the expectation of gas supply, and if you pay attention to some of
1:55 am
our notices this year, we were talking about or noting with the eia reserves and the outlook for potential gas resources that there was a 100-year supply of natural gas for consumers. that is very good news for consumers, and is certainly that optimism has been reflected in the supply picture -- and it is certainly that that optimism has been reflected. other resources have been developed in the country. in the shorter-term right now, as i noted before, it is very likely that natural gas demand is going to be the throttle around the price issue. again, going back to the large- volume customers, in comparing year over year, natural gas consumption in the industrial sector from january through september 2008 compared to 2009, industrial consumption has been
1:56 am
down about 6.4%, according to one resources. since the industrial sector consumes a lot of gas which according to one resource -- down about 6.4%, according to one resource. since the industrial sector consumes a lot of gas, we will see a response. this winter heating season is one we will have to watch again, knowing that last year, it caused a unit decline. this year, we are going to have to look at that and examine that as it goes forward but also understand that it is the weather. it is consumption. it is a big component. we have seen the average consumer in this country use less per year on a per consumer basis.
1:57 am
it has been going on -- at a little over 1% per year of a decline in the average use per year -- it has been going along a line at a little over 1 percent per year of a decline. there are the additional opportunities, higher efficiency appliances, more attention paid to their living space in terms of insulation, and then all of the other conservation and other efficiency opportunities that are out there, too. dan, we are clicked out. i am actually at the end of my talk. roger will talk to you about some longer-term issues, and i think a keyword you will see in his presentation is "volatility."
1:58 am
>> thank you, chris. over the last decade, we have seen great volatility in natural gas prices. if you go back to the decade of the 1990's, use of the opposite, relatively flat, stable prices, some fluctuation based on the weather, and looking down the road over the next decade, are we going to have a decade more like the 1990's or more like the last in terms of price volatility? well, the safe and probably smart answer is to say the future looks like the current trends. there are factors that would suggest continuing volatility. the traditional factors that chris talked about, demand is the driver and depends on the weather. it depends on the economy, and then, we are going to add at some point climate change legislation, presumably a cap
1:59 am
and trade bill, but possibly a carbon tax, and cap and trade would add another element of volatility separate from the energy commodity volatility to the marketplace, so if you want to be safe, yes, it looks like we will see a continuing volatile market, but i would like to suggest today other factors at play that may suggest a flattening of volatility down the road, not in particular this winter, but the major factor, i think, is the implication of gas shale production. the implications have been written about that this is an enormous resources, and that is certainly one of the implications is that we have an awful lot of this gas share, but the other implication is the production of the shale itself. it is different than the

79 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on